What Repairs Should I Do Before I Sell My Home?

Q: I’m selling my house now. What repairs should I do now before I sell? Sam, Rockville, MD

A: Sam, capital improvements in general only add about 50% of their cost to the value of your home, which means that they are normally a waste of money unless the repair issue is so important that it could scare away buyers. A roof leak so bad that when it rains outside, it rains inside your house or a bathroom or kitchen that hasn’t been updated since the 1970s may be good examples of repairs that you’ll need to do in order to make your property salable. However, if your home is livable and presentable, then unless you are a contractor, it’s generally best to leave things the way they are rather than taking on an expensive and time-consuming home renovation project right before you sell.

Home inspectors are paid to find problems, so they normally find problems regardless of how many repairs you do before they arrive. As long as it’s not something drastic, it’s easier to deal with an inspection or repair issue when it arises (with a repair credit for example) than wasting a lot of time and money doing repairs when it may not even be necessary.

Thanks for your question, Sam, good luck!

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